The Magical Guide to Disney World Rides | Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom rides are some of the best in Disney World. But center in the park is the iconic Tree of Life.

The Disney Animal Kingdom Rides over the years

The addition of new Disney Animal Kingdom rides over the years has done an incredible job of building upon an already impressive park to make it even better.

Though Animal Kingdom may have fewer rides than any of the other Disney World parks, the rides they do have are amongst Disney’s most extravagant and immersive.

Whether through Disney’s most realistic mountain ride to date or the opening of a land taken straight from an alien planet, Animal Kingdom is Disney World’s wildest park, even without taking the many animal exhibits you’ll see into consideration.

Animal Kingdom has seven motion rides, one show, and one character meet-and-greet. This article will focus on the Animal Kingdom rides, giving you all the information you need to know to make your day in the park successful!

Let’s get started!

Disney Animal Kingdom Rides

RideLocationTypeHeight RequirementsAverage Wait Times
Na’vi River JourneyPandoraRiver Dark RideN/A60-120 minutes
Avatar Flight of PassagePandoraFlight Simulation44″70-130 minutes
Kilimanjaro SafarisAfricaSafari Bus TourN/A10-20 minutes
Kali River RapidsAsiaWater Rapid Ride38″60-90 minutes (April-October) / 5-10 minutes (Winter)
Expedition EverestAsiaRollercoaster44″30-60 minutes
TriceraTop SpinDinoland USAAerial CarouselN/A0-5 minutes
DinosaurDinoland USADark Ride/Rollercoaster40″15-80 minutes

Pandora – The World of Avatar

#1 – Na’vi River Journey

Na’vi River Journey is the first of the Animal Kingdom rides in Pandora, the newest land in the park.

Similar to the speed of It’s A Small World, Na’vi River Journey is a slow boat ride that takes you on a nighttime trip through the jungles of Pandora.

You’ll see alien flora, fauna, and many bioluminescent lights surrounding you wherever you look.

And for a grand finale, you see a lifesize Na’vi. The Na’vi is the most lifelike animatronic in Disney World, with its incredibly fluid motions and facial expressions.

Na’vi River Journey is a surprisingly short ride, even shorter than both Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s A Small World, two of the most similar rides to this one.

Na’vi River Journey Average Wait Times

The lines for this ride are generally very long. Expect to wait 60-120 minutes before you get on Na’vi River Journey in Animal Kingdom.

#2 – Avatar Flight of Passage

Flight of Passage, the second and main attraction of Pandora, is a feast for the senses.

The ride takes you on a flight through Pandora on your banshee, the dragon-like creature from the movie. On the ride, the banshee is an individual bike-like machine where each rider sits.

The bike simulates breathing by consistently moving between the legs to make the rider feel like they are on top of a living creature. It’s a strange sensation that enhances the experience.

Similar to Soarin’ in Epcot, the ride takes you up in the air where a screen surrounds you on all sides and below you.

The ride uses 3D technology, and 10k picture quality, to make the experience more visually popping to the eyes, but the real sense of stimulation comes through other methods.

While on Flight of Passage, the ride pumps out air with varying strengths to make it feel as if the flight’s turbulence is natural and the air pressure from the wind is hitting your face.

When you fly through the jungles, they release an aroma to simulate the smell of the jungles of Pandora. When you coast over the water, you can feel the wetness of the moments due to a mist blown around you.

The small details make Flight of Passage unlike any other ride in Disney World and one of the most advanced Animal Kingdom rides.

However, because this is a screen ride, those who suffer from motion sickness will be affected. You will get sick after riding this ride. Wearing a Dramamine patch is highly recommended. Those who don’t suffer from motion sickness will be fine.

Flight of Passage Height Requirements

Riders must be at least 44″ to ride Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Flight of Passage Average Wait Times

Like with Na’vi River Journey, expect to stand in a very long line regarding the wait times. On average, the standby wait for Flight of Passage is 70-120 minutes.


#3 – Kilimanjaro Safaris

If you took the Jungle Cruise, turned it, brought in real animals, and put it on land, you get the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

The Kilimanjaro Safaris is the closest experience you can get to going on a real safari ride in Africa without traveling there.

There are a ton of animals native to Africa that you will see on this ride/tour. You may even get an up-close and personal look at some animals.

You will see lions, giraffes, gazelle, hippos, and more roaming around the nature reserve.

On the ride, your tour guide will give overviews of each animal you will see, pointing out facts about them, like their living habits, diet, and their relations to the other animals in the nature reserve.

If it is raining during your visit to Animal Kingdom, that is the best time to go on the Kilimanjaro Safaris. The animals are much more active in the rain than on a sunny day.

The Kilimanjaro Safari is one of the longest Animal Kingdom rides in the park, so it’s worth experiencing during your visit.

Kilimanjaro Safaris Average Wait Times

Wait times are also relatively short. Expect a 10-20 minute standby wait for this ride.


#4 – Kali River Rapids

The best water ride at Disney World is between Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom and Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom.

If the determining factor for the best water ride is how wet you get, the competition’s winner would be Kali River Rapids by a fair margin.

On Kali River Rapids, you won’t get wet; you’ll get soaked. Expect to get drenched from head to toe on this wild river ride.

During Kali River Rapids, you’re seated in a round raft with a group of other riders. Unlike in Splash Mountain or the other boat rides at Disney World, the fast-moving river naturally moves your raft down the current.

Though the theming of the ride is coming across a deforestation project, that’s probably the least important thing you will focus on. As you are on the ride, you are constantly spinning due to the river’s movement.

On the ride, there are waterfalls that you go under and huge drops into the water below. No matter where you sit, it’s possible for anyone to be the one to get hit with the most water. The fun part is you never know which lucky passenger will get the wettest. Either way, you will get wet.

Kali River Rapids is the perfect ride on a hot summer day and the best way to start your time at Animal Kingdom.

Kali River Rapids Height Requirements

You must be at least 38″ to ride Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom.

Kali River Rapids Average Wait Times

The line for Kali River Rapids is usually very long (at least during the summer). Expect to wait around 60-90 minutes for the wettest of all Animal Kingdom rides.

#5 – Expedition Everest

Arguably the most extravagant rollercoaster in all of Disney World and by far the tallest out of all the Animal Kingdom rides, Expedition Everest is the best (and now only) classic rollercoaster in Animal Kingdom.

At first glance, Expedition Everest is a behemoth of a coaster. Standing at 199 feet tall, Expedition Everest is the tallest ride at Walt Disney World. Easily visible at all points in the park due to its size, the ride is Disney’s miniaturized version of the real Mount Everest.

In terms of rollercoaster level in Disney World, Expedition Everest would be between Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster in Hollywood Studios and Space Mountain in Magic Kingdom, with Space Mountain being the most beginner-friendly and Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster being the most appropriate for those more fearless.

There are no upside-down loops on the ride, and it does not go as fast as Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. The attraction does take you higher than either Space Mountain or Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster, and it also has one other characteristic unique to it; it takes you backward.

Though, in a way, Expedition Everest is the scariest rollercoaster in Disney World. Multiple dark scenes come out of nowhere that might scare younger riders. In addition, the ride is also home to the biggest animatronic in Disney World, a life-sized Yeti.

Though the Yeti has not worked since 2007, at one point, the Yeti was fully moving and swooped down to grab at passengers on the train! Nowadays, you ride by the broken Yeti, but even that may still be enough to scare riders.

Expedition Everest Story (As told by the queue)

The ride’s story, as told through ambient theming in the queue, is that you and your group are hunting for the legendary Yeti, the mythical creature native to Mount Everest. On a train ride through the mountain, your goal is to find evidence of the Yeti’s existence, and if things go according to plan, you’ll discover some hint of the creature. But what you don’t expect is for the Yeti to find you first.

Max Speed50 mph
Max Height199 ft
Drop80 ft
G-Force3 Gs
Ride Duration2:50

Expedition Everest Ride Experience

Expedition Everest begins with riders boarding the train, leaving the station, and turning right towards a small chain lift hill. The hill leads to a slight drop, a turn past the mountain’s base, then a wide left turn that leads to the 118-ft chain lift hill.

Halfway up the hill, the train goes through an abandoned temple. Riders can hear a noise like bells and wind as they go through. At the top of the hill, riders arrive on the mountain, make a left turn inside the mountain, and arrive at a dead end. The track is destroyed, stopping the riders from proceeding forward. An eagle flies above the broken tracks, and then the train moves backward.

The train quickly moves backward deeper into the mountain and goes down a left-angled helix that leads into an inner cave in the mountain. Here, riders see the shadow of the Yeti break off more of the tracks before swinging away.

The train moves forward out of the cave and down an 80-ft drop, reaching the max speed of 50 mph. The train enters a 250-degree turn that takes riders through the mountain again, then back out, before finally entering the mountain. In the cave, the train makes a right turn, bringing riders face-to-face with the Yeti. The Yeti roars, and the train narrowly misses its reach before quickly exiting the mountain. The train enters a brake run that brings the riders back to the station, ending the ride.

Expedition Everest Height Requirements

Riders must be at least 44″ to ride Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom.

Expedition Everest Average Wait Times

Surprisingly, wait times for Expedition Everest aren’t that long. Expect a standby wait time of around 30-60 minutes, but 5 minute walk-ons are also common.

Dinoland U.S.A

#6 – TriceraTop Spin

Like the Astro Orbiter and Dumbo in Magic Kingdom, TriceraTop Spin is an aerial carousel in Animal Kingdom at Dinoland U.S.A, specifically the Dino-Rama section.

Like those two rides, TriceraTop Spin is the perfect ride for younger guests of Animal Kingdom. You can go up or down by using a lever in your Triceratops.

It’s a slow-moving, relaxing ride that doesn’t get simpler. It’s the last remaining ride at Dinorama. We don’t know how much longer this section of the park will be at Animal Kingdom.

TriceraTop Spin Average Wait Times

Wait times are practically non-existent for this ride. Standby wait times are between 0-5 minutes.

#7 – Dinosaur

Dinosaur may be the highest intensity experience of all the Animal Kingdom rides.

Based on the 2000s Disney movie of the same name, Dinosaur takes you to the prehistoric age of dinosaurs moments before the asteroid hit the Earth and wiped them out. The ride tasks you with finding an Iguanadon to bring back to the present day (for some reason).

The ride starts slow, with you seeing peaceful herbivore dinosaurs up close, but quickly ramps up in intensity as the asteroid’s arrival draws nearer.

Before you know it, you are going at full speed, making quick turns and dodging huge animatronic dinosaurs.

It’s one of the most fun rides in Animal Kingdom if you enjoy adrenaline-pumping experiences.

Dinosaur Average Wait Times

Wait times for Dinosaur vary greatly. It depends on the time and weather, as many people use it to get out of the rain. The standby line can be anywhere between 5-80 minutes.

Everything Else at Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom rides aren’t the only thing to do at Animal Kingdom. This park can is a hybrid amusement park. Animal Kingdom also acts as Disney World’s zoo. 

At Animal Kingdom, various activities are available for guests to do without ever stepping foot on a ride. 

In the Oasis at the front of the park:

  • Three wild animal viewing locations are available to see 
  • The Oasis Exhibits

In Discovery Island:

  • It’s Tough To Be A Bug (show) located in the Tree of Life with an average 10-minute wait time 
  • The Discovery Island Trails home to more animal viewing locations

In Africa:

  • Harambe Theater, home to the Festival of the Lion King (show)

In Asia:

  • The Maharajah Jungle Trek, where you can see the Silverback Gorillas and other animals
  • The Rivers of Light water show

In Dinoland U.S.A:

  • In Dino-Rama, play carnival games to win prizes
  • In The Boneyard, you can dig up dinosaur bones 

Animal Kingdom is full of great experiences no matter how you want to spend your day!

But Animal Kingdom isn’t all there is to do at Disney World. Three other Walt Disney World Resort parks are equally as impressive as this one! 

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